Tag Archives: strength training

Dumbbell Diaries #2

So … today I met with my trainer for the first time since I emailed him my goals. I asked him about frequency of workouts, and we agreed that my new schedule would look like this:

Sunday: Lift
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Lift
Wednesday: Easy Cardio with a little HIIT
Thursday: Lift
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Boot Camp (HIIT)

So, three days of pure strength work, one day of “HIIT” and another day of cardio with maybe a little HIIT. We agreed I would limit to five days, because four out of those five workouts are pretty hardcore, and I don’t want to risk burnout.

On with today’s program, which, I really liked:

Workout duration: 50 minutes
Calories burned (per Garmin HRM): 520
Average Heart Rate: 140 BPM 
Max Heart Rate: : 176 BPM


On days I deadlift, I always start with deadlift, and don’t superset with other exercises in between like I did on Tuesday. Oops. Never more than 10 reps per set. Today we did 4 sets as follows:

10/95 pounds
8/110 pounds
6/115 pounds
4/125 pounds

The deadlift is CRITICAL to do with impeccable form, I guess a lot of people try to do them and wind up injuring their backs. My first set was a little shaky but I got better as the sets progressed. By the end he said my form looked really good. Progress. Even though that 240 pound deadlift is looking pretty far away right now.

Superset #1

Dumbbell Flat Bench Press
10/22.5 pounds
10/27.5 pounds
8/35 pounds (!!!)
Dumbbell Reverse Fly
10/10 pounds
10/10 pounds
10/10 pounds
Lateral Walk w/ Resistance Band (video)
40 steps (20 each direction)
50 steps (25 each direction)
50 steps (25 each direction)

Notes: First of all, PR on the dumbbell bench press! I felt so studly lifting 35 pound dumbbells! The lateral walks SUCK, my least favorite exercise, but apparently it is REALLY good for the glutes.

Superset #2

Goblet Squat
Shoulder Press

Notes: I can’t believe that last set of shoulder press. That is a really heavy weight, considering I used to do 8 pound shoulder presses! I totally failed out on the last rep too, arm just wouldn’t go up!

Superset #3

Hamstring Curls (Prone)
Twisting Crunch (like a V-sit, with weight held up to chest, 10 reps to each side)
20/10 pounds
20/10 pounds
20/10 pounds

Notes: We were also supposed to do 3 “hard style” planks – which is the same position as a regular plank but you contract every muscle in your body as tight as possible – but ran out of time. I’ll be starting with 30 seconds and working up from there.

Whew! After that workout I downed a 200 calorie protein shake (homemade with a scoop of Any Whey, a cup of So Delicious coconut milk, blackberries, and nectarines). And you can bet I’ll be hoovering down a sizeable portion of protein with tonight’s dinner too – gotta feed those muscles!


Less running, and happy about it? Yes, it’s true.

It has been awhile since I updated you three all on my injury and workout situation, so I thought it was about time I wrote an update.

First, the knee is still giving me trouble, but it only seems to flare up when I run long so I’ve modified my workout routine to focus on strength and short, intense cardio sessions, rather than the long slow runs I had grown accustomed to during half-marathon training.

The transition wasn’t easy, and didn’t come without plenty of tears (just ask my husband). I was bitter that I couldn’t run more than 3-4 miles without my knee flaring up, and that my pace had slowed by over a minute per mile.  Perhaps sensing that I needed something new to energize me, Michael suggested that I start working with a trainer at our gym. He had already been working with a trainer for a couple of weeks, and was seeing good results.

I was reluctant to plunk down the Benjamins – trainers do not come cheap, nor should they. But I sucked it up, bought a package of sessions, and anxiously awaited my first session with my trainer.

It turns out my anxiety was unfounded. My trainer and I hit it off immediately, and he’s done a great job of motivating me to push beyond what I think I can do, while still respecting the limitations of my old, injured, body. Every time we meet we run through different exercises for my upper body, lower body, and core. I’m learning areas where I am strong (chest, triceps) and where I am weak (back, shoulders). I actually look forward to my sessions with my trainer, because I know I am going to push past some barrier, which  is one of the main things I love about running. Constant improvement is highly addicting. 🙂

Even though I’ve only been working with my trainer for two weeks, I already feel a difference. I carry myself differently. I have more confidence in my ability to do physical things. I no longer feel like running is the ONLY exercise that I love.

Now before you think I’ve left running completely for my new boyfriend AKA weight training, I am still incorporating intervals on the treadmill prior to every trainer session. I’m starting to get excited about running shorter distances faster, and have an aggressive 5K PR goal in my head that I hope to achieve this Spring. It will be interesting to see what happens!